Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spiral Light Candle: Website; New Phones Now Working

Right now, Spiral Light Candle's website, spirallightcandle.com, is up and running. It's doing everything it's designed to do: which doesn't include taking online orders. The Spiral Light Candle retail storefront, Spiral Light Candle Corp. Storefront at Amazon.com has been around for a while now, and got updated recently.

Which brings me to a big of Web nostalgia.

Remembering the 'Good Old Days'

Back in the 'good old days,' you'd see "UNDER CONSTRUCTION" graphics on many websites. I liked the animated ones. There were silhouettes shoveling; and a frazzled programmers pounding a keyboard, with a hammer in one case.

They were funny, attention-getting, and a useless distraction.

I haven't seen that sort of thing much lately. Partly, I suspect, because website developers and users realized that a good website is always 'under construction' in some way. It's a rare business that hasn't changed something about products, services, prices - or seasonal sales.

There's something to be said for maintaining a consistent visual style on a corporate website. On the other hand, it's wise to distinguish between "consistent," "archaic," and "apparently abandoned."

Making Sure it's "Coming Soon"

Not all bad ideas for websites are as obviously misguided as, say, green-on-purple text or an investment service with an animated puppy on its 'about us' page.

Sometimes a caffeinated developer decides to re-name pages that customers have bookmarked/Favorited/whatever: because 'everybody's using [this week's hot database software].'

"Coming soon" announcements, like anything else, need to be managed, updated, and sometimes removed. But I think they're basically okay. I'll get back to that idea.

Flash, a Movie About Coffee, and Clueless Supervisors

Then there are the dilbertesque supervisors, who are a lot funnier in the comics, than in real life:

Dilbert.com
Dilbert.com
Dilbert.com
(Scott Adams' Dilbert, used w/o permission)

Technology, Telephones, and Me

My son is more tech-savvy than I am, but I get along with computers pretty well. I've even learned to cope with telephone menus.

Automated telephone menus have improved since companies started using them. A lot. I think it helped, when someone realized that the most loyal customer would eventually get fed up.

I've learned quite a bit about telephone menus in the last few days. Spiral Light Candle now has a working customer service section - complete with a mercifully-short menu. Spiral Light and the service we're using got the system up and running yesterday.

Spiral Light Candle's system isn't quite so simple on the 'company' side, but I've gotten familiar with the basics. Which is a good thing, since I'm answering phones for the company now.

Also doing the occasional spreadsheet, and whatever else I can lend a hand with.

"Currently Working on Our Website"

I mentioned Spiral Light Candle's new website yesterday. The developer has a nice, clean, and simple home page; easy-to-spot navigation; and graphics that unobtrusively match the product line.

I like it. More to the point: it's being done by a competent developer, and isn't any fancier than it needs to be.

The software that will support our online ordering is still getting tweaked, but I heard yesterday that it's progressing. In the right direction.

That's why I don't have a problem with this snippet from Spiral Light Candle's home page:
"...We are currently working on our website, so please check back again soon...."
We won't launch the new website tomorrow. At least I don't think so. But work on Spiral Light Candle's website is in good hands.

I'm looking forward to seeing the result.

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2 comments:

Brigid said...

Don't really need the slash: "website, spirallightcandle.com/, is"

Number agreement: "There were a silhouettes shoveling"

Why are there spaces here? "customers have bookmarked / Favorited / whatever"

More number agreement problems: "and graphics that unobtrusively matches the product line."

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian Gill said...

Brigid,

Oh, my: Quite a few glitches in this post. Found, fixed, and thanks!

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